LABOUR'S Angela Rayner has given her full support to moves in Parliament on Wednesday to scrap the Tories hated Bedroom Tax.
Labour will force a vote in the House of Commons to scrap the tax immediately - and is challenging Lib Dem and other MPs to support the move.
Angela says the tax is hitting thousands of people in her Ashton-under-Lyne constituency - many of them disabled people.
She said: "The Bedroom Tax is cruel, unfair, and it doesn't work. It needs to be scrapped now.
"Wednesday's vote in the House of Commons will show whose side the Lib Dems are on, although I won't be holding my breath.
"They have backed the Tories all the way on this so far, despite the damage the Bedroom Tax is doing to people lives, especially the most vulnerable.
"People in my constituency are piling up massive rent arrears, or cutting their weekly budgets and going without, because they have to pay this extra tax.
"And disabled people who have spare rooms are being hit especially hard.
"Wednesday's vote could give thousands of local people an early Christmas present which would make a real difference to their lives.
"If elected as local MP in May, I will be voting in Parliament to scrap the Bedroom Tax at every single opportunity."
Research shows that the vast majority of people affected by the tax have nowhere smaller to move to. The average family paying the tax is losing £720 a year – money they can ill afford.
Labour has already earmarked the £470 million needed to pay for the repeal of the bedroom tax by closing boardroom loophole schemes and tax scams.
The government’s own independent evaluation of the policy revealed that just 4.5% of affected claimants had been able to move to smaller accommodation within the social sector. 60% had fallen behind with their rent after just six months, and there is “widespread concern that those who were paying, were making cuts to other household essentials or incurring other debts”.
This is why Labour MPs forced a vote in the House of Commons for its abolition in November last year. It is why Labour supported a Bill to abolish the tax put forward by Ian Lavery MP in February this year. And it is why Ed Miliband has committed the next Labour government to repealing it if we win the general election next year.
The Liberal Democrats joined the Tories 0to twice vote through the Bedroom and then combined with the Tories to defeat Labour’s opposition motion last November. And they went AWOL when Labour's Ian Lavery proposed his Bill to repeal the tax in February.
There would be no Bedroom Tax if it wasn’t for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.
The Liberal Democrats even refused to support amendments that Labour tabled in the Commons and the Lords to exempt disabled people whose homes had been specially adapted for them, or who could not find alternative accommodation.
The Labour Party will take any opportunity to protect as many people from this unjust and ill-conceived policy. But the only sure way to get the Bedroom Tax fully repealed will be to elect a Labour government next May.